The middle of the 2020-21 season has been rough for the Los Angeles Lakers as they have had to deal with multiple injuries.
Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol and Alex Caruso have been out of the lineup with various ailments, and the Lakers recently learned they would also be without Jared Dudley.
The veteran hurt his knee before the All-Star break and was later diagnosed with a right MCL tear.
Dudley had been mulling his options for treatment and elected to not have surgery. “Most torn MCLs, you don’t have surgery, to be honest with you,” Dudley said.
“Me right now, my mindset is to not have surgery. It’s to rehab. Give my body three-four weeks to reassess in those three-four weeks of seeing how the ligament and how much does it grow back and start the healing process. There’s nothing that is off the table, but my mindset now going forward is not to have surgery.”
The 35-year-old has been glued to the bench for most of the 20202-21 season, and allowing the ligament to heal on its own will allow him to remain with the team on the sidelines. He has been an invaluable piece for Los Angeles and he should still have an impact as he rehabs.
Dudley offers candid assessment of role on Lakers
Dudley is a smart veteran who understands where he can contribute and he did not mince words when it came to how he can be of service to the Lakers. “Let’s just be honest, my value to this team is not playing,” Dudley said. “My playing days of contributing at a high level are done. There are times where I can still help on a minute base, as you saw this year a couple of times this year and even last year, but for the most part, my value is the locker room, the bus, the plane, the film room.
“Holding guys accountable in practice, habits. Getting on guys. Kind of like a coach, but the difference for me in not being a coach is I’m in the locker room day-to-day and there are certain things I can say to certain players that may be a coach couldn’t even do.
“So that’s where my value is and that’s one of the reasons I wouldn’t want to get surgery right now. I’d be out four to six months and be away from the team for six to eight weeks being at home. That’s something that I’m not ready to do, and something where I feel rehab is going to get me back to the same finish line in a different time period.”
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